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Summary: What if Jess had told Rory that he wasn't graduating?

Rory and Jess sat in Luke's Diner, sharing a basket of fries. Rory was concerned about Jess. He'd been acting moody all night. "Okay," she said aloud. "What's the matter?"

"Huh?" Jess focused on Rory. "Nothing."

"Tell me. You've been acting moody all night. What's wrong?"

Something inside Jess snapped. "I missed too much school, and so they won't let me graduate. Ergo, no prom, okay?" he yelled.

Confusion filled Rory's heart. "The prom doesn't matter. We can go to Chilton's prom if you want to." she didn't understand why he was so upset about the prom. And then it hit her--he hadn't graduated. That was what was bothering him. He wasn't going to get his diploma.

"Are there options?" she asked when he was silent to her offer of the Chilton prom.

"For what?"

"For graduating? Summer school?"

"The principal said I have to repeat my whole senior year."

"Oh." Rory said quietly. "You could do that, you know. I'll only be 28 miles away."

"No, Rory!" he exploded. "I'm not repeating a year in that establishment they call a high school! I can't do that!" after a moment of silence, he got up and walked out of the diner, slamming the door behind him. Rory chased after him, and watched unbelievingly as he boarded the bus bound for JFK airport.

Then she burst into tears.